A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by law firm alleged that IAC’s directory site Citysearch has been defrauding its advertising customers by encouraging click fraud. The lawsuit was filed by Kabateck, a law firm which previously won a click fraud case against Yahoo and was also part of a similar case filed against Google.
Kabateck Managing Partner Brian S. Kabatech said that most click fraud cases involve companies that simply turn a blind eye to it, according to a press release:
“Citysearch does this too, since it has no real program to prevent click fraud. But Citysearch goes beyond indifference to actively incentivizing click fraud. Citysearch’s motive is simple: clicks equal cash, whether they’re fraudulent or not.”
Kabateck is representing the plaintiff Tom Lambotte who complained that his Citysearch ad has received a total of 7 clicks (plus two more that he generated) between December 11 and 25, 2007. On December 22 he requested Citysearch to cancel his ad and got a response on December 26. After the response, his ad started receiving 12 to 16 clicks a day totalling to 69 clicks between December 26 and December 31. During those days, his ad was supposed to be cancelled already. Subsequently he was charged for all those clicks as his ad runs on a PPC basic. He requested Citysearch to reverse the charges but his requests was denied.
From what can be deduced from his ads’ experience with Citysearch, Lambotte then filed the case and accused Citysearch of committing click fraud and is in fact violationg its own “Invalid Click Policy” which clearly states that Citysearch has a sophisticated algorithms to track sessions and user behavior on their site to assist them in identifying click patterns that would indicate invalid clicks.
In the event we identify a click as invalid, our customers are not charged for such clicks.”